User Reviewed

How to Care for Fire Belly Toads

If you have a new Oriental Fire-Belly Toad (Bombina orientalis) and don't know how to take care of it, this article may be for you. Fire-belly toads are a popular pet in the USA that can live for ten to twelve years, or more, if properly cared for. There have been multiple reports of them living to thirty years.[citation needed] In the wild the toads are mostly aquatic, inhabiting warm, humid regions, often forests. They spend most of their time soaking in shallow pools, among dense vegetation. They can eat crickets to pinkie mice. They are actually frogs but look like toads because of their bumpy skin. They are slightly toxic so you must wash your hands after handling one. Try not to touch them, they can only take so much.


  1. Image titled Care for Fire Belly Toads Step 1
    Choose a bright, active fire bellied toad
    • Look for toads that are hopping around when you tap on the glass. Since these are probably the healthiest and most active toads, pick the lively ones.
    • Choose the brightest colored toads as they will be the healthiest, although they can change color at will. Fire-belly toads are bright green but can also be brown, above and have red or orange bellies with black markings, thus the name. However, their color changes throughout their life span depending on what they're eating at the time, or what their food ate. If you feed crickets carrots before you feed them to your toad, it's supposed to make them brighter.
    • Consider picking two toads as animals often do better in pairs.
  2. Image titled Care for Fire Belly Toads Step 2
    Set up the right habitat
    • Keep your toad in an amphibian tank.
    • Make sure you provide 60% water and 40% land both with hiding places for the toads.
    • The water half should be about 4–10 centimeter (1.6–3.9 in) of water. For the land,
    • Provide some moss (preferably sphagnum moss) for your toad to burrow into.
    • Provide your toads with light. Do not use a heater or a light that heats up! Use a fluorescent bulb with low light as they do not like it bright, and put it outside of the tank, preferably over the side with moss.
  3. Image titled Care for Fire Belly Toads Step 3
    Feed your Toad
    • Feed your toad with live food, the toads need to see movement in order to know what to eat.
    • Typical food includes crickets, mealworms, wax worms, or phoenix worms.
  4. Image titled Care for Fire Belly Toads Step 4
    Phoenix worms are preferred, because of their high calcium content.
    • Feed the insects "gut load" and vegetables. The nutrients in the gut load and vegetables will be passed on to your fire belly toad .
    • When you feed your toad, put the insects on the land side away from the light! If they look at the light, it will damage their vision.
  5. Image titled Care for Fire Belly Toads Step 5
    Try not to handle your toad.
    • The salts on our skin will hurt your toad and can be fatal.
    • Their oils are slightly toxic and can cause a rash.
    • Fire bellied toads are known to become extremely excited when touched by a human. They are not meant to be touched.
    • Only handle the toad when cleaning the tank. Use latex gloves to take it out and put it in a moist container.
  6. Image titled Care for Fire Belly Toads Step 6
    Wash the tank
    • Wash rocks thoroughly in a strainer.
    • Wash tank. Do not use any soaps or other chemicals, toads are very sensitive to chemicals.(hot water works great)
    • Put the rocks in the bottom of the tank.
    • Put toads back into tank.


  • Dust their crickets in calcium powder to increase the health of their toad.
  • You can tell if the toad is healthy by how vibrant the skin color is.
  • Repti safe is very effective way of removing chemicals from tap water. Repti safe removes and prevents ammonia, it contains vital electrolytes including calcium . It stimulates slime production providing a natural barrier for all amphibians. And reduces pH.
  • They will be more active and entertaining if two or more toads are together. They will interact with each other, such as swimming, hopping, climbing, you name it. Also, being around others take stress off each toad, because if they have friend(s), they know the environment is OK, but always make sure that they don't get into fights and remember that some toads can be shy!
  • Give them a variety of foods
  • Always use a water purifying product, such as AquaSafe to get rid of harmful chloramines. These do not evaporate with the chlorine.
  • You can remove chlorine from tap water by letting it sit in an open tank or container for 24-48 hours. Do not use a container that has had chemicals. Water quality should be the same as for fresh water fish.
  • Give one frog all by itself at least 4 or 5 gallons (15.1 or 18.9 L) of space. Get two frogs and then they will mate and have babies. The small tanks with vented covers are available for cheap at any pet store, and the larger ones should provide enough space for one stress-free environment for one frog.
  • Allow three frogs (at most) for every 10 gallons (37.9 L) of space a tank contains. 1-3 frogs will do well in a ten gallon tank, 4-6 frogs will do well in a twenty gallon tank.
  • Do not feed your frog dead food, because it is rare they learn to recognize food. They also hunt by motion. However, rarely, fire belly toads become tame enough to eat from your fingers, whether the food is live or dead.
  • Be sure to separate the adults from the babies, because the adults will eat the younger ones.
  • Provide a water dish because they need water to stay moist.


  • If it lays eggs not all of them will hatch.
  • Do not use soap to wash any materials.
  • Toads have poison glands which, if it is not used to your handling, as is with a newly purchased toad, they will secrete a white toxin which can cause a rash. Wash your hands after handling to prevent this.
  • Make sure the tank is always clean. Dirty water can cause diseases in your tank.
  • Loss of appetite, bloated abdomen, laziness (this may be due to lack of nutrition), and cloudy eyes can be signs of disease. Clean your frog's tank and contact an expert if any of those occur.
  • Do not feed your toads grasshoppers, as they are hard to digest and sometimes poisonous to them.
  • DO NOT kiss your fire bellied toad. It is a little toxic and you'll get really sick if you do.
  • Avoid feeding your toads bugs such as spiders, ants, and beetles.
  • You must have a cover, as they will climb up the tank corner to escape.
  • Some say that these frogs don't need a heat source, but they do: 72-76 degrees is the best, 77-82 degrees could make them mate. This is not suggested (as they will eat the babies) unless you can provide more than one tank, to take the adults out.
  • You may hold them, but try not to handle them too much.
  • Do not feed your toad meal worms, as these larva possess hard shells which fire-bellied toads have a hard time digesting. Most toads can digest small meal worms and grasshoppers occasionally but should not be your toad's primary source of food. Crickets and guppies are your best bet for healthy, happy toads.
  • Do not add goldfish or fish to try to keep the tank clean, as they will eat the fish. Guppies are a good food source if there are enough of them, but you must also feed them crickets regularly. While not suggested, they can go for 2 weeks without eating.

Things You'll Need

  • Smooth rocks/bark size 0-5MM or a little cover
  • Toad food (optional vitamin-mineral supplement).
  • Crickets or flies.
  • Tank with a secure lid.
  • live plants.
  • Moss (Preferably Sphagnum Moss)
  • Hiding places.
  • U.V. Lights/heat lamps
  • Water enough to fill 60% of the tank.
  • Do not use fake plants that are hard, the hard plastic could poke them, or if a small piece comes off the fake plant, the frog could eat it.
  • Think of it this way.. if it moves and they can put it in their mouths, they will.
  • Do not mix with other toads or frogs. Remember that the Fire-belly Toads produce toxin that will harm others. Also many toads and frogs will kill/eat others.

Article Info

Categories: Articles in Need of Sources | Toads